Don’t let me take the reins and gallop in the wrong direction

I was listening to the Casting Crowns song – Love you with the Truth today.  These lyrics are powerful:

When we love, we earn the right to speak the truth When we speak truth, we show the world we truly love I’m not pointing my finger, I’m holding out my hand I lay it all on the line now to see God save my friend Let my life and my words be the proof I’m gonna love you with the truth

As Christians God calls us to speak in truth.  Sometimes that’s tough.  Sometimes we shy away from that conversation with a friend for fear of looking like we are judging or meddling.  But should we stand by and watch our friends floundering or walking down the wrong path.  When friends are unable to make sense of things should we step in with support and encouragement.

I think that’s exactly what God calls us to do.  Let me be the first to say to my friends, love me with God’s truth.

LOVE ME WITH THE TRUTH

Love me with God’s truth, I beg you don’t stand and watch me fail, don’t ignore my actions, don’t ignore my pain, don’t let me take the reins and gallop in the wrong direction, I’m not adverse to some Godly correction, I have no fear of open talk, I won’t balk at your support when you court me with the truth, when you speak of obedience I won’t go on the defensive, I’m here to learn, I’m here to grow, I don’t pretend to know it all so if I fall (and fall I may) don’t stay silent, don’t spend your days questioning your motives, when you speak in love the truth is a gesture, a hand outstretched to a friend, I don’t see it as judgmental in fact it’s fundamental to our calling to support those who are in danger of falling, when I stand too close to the edge, provide a hedge of love around me, speak lovingly remembering these words, God is the truth living in me, God is truth and the truth sets us free.

 

Avoid the temptation to trade fundamental truths for approval

Are we scared to speak out?  Are there times where someone says something about Christianity and we try and merge into the background, not wanting to comment for fear of judgment or ridicule?  Are there times we avoid those conversations altogether, steering the conversation away from anything challenging?

Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats refuses to answer directly the question, does he think homosexuality is a sin.  Tim is a Christian politician and avoids the direct question by answering that we are all sinners, which is indeed the truth.  But how much stronger would his message be if he spoke out about his beliefs and the word of God.  God tells us it is a sin and if we are followers of God then we are called to be obedient to his word.  More important than calling out people’s sin is the message that we should not judge, God calls us to love others as we love ourselves, to forgive others as God forgives us and to be salt and light in this frail world.

I’m not condemning Tim, indeed he has been open about his faith, I’m just maybe a tad frustrated that we are so beaten down by the secular world we seek to fit in with their views rather than shout out God’s message of love and salvation from the rooftops!

2 Timothy 1:8 – So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God

Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile

Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

RUFFLE SOME FEATHERS

Don’t conform, born into this world not to fit in but to ruffle feathers, not born simply to indulge in earthly pleasures, born to fulfil a plan, born of man but a citizen of heaven, stand firm in your faith, avoid temptation to trade fundamental truths for approval, renewal of the mind is liberating,  negotiating life’s potholes not a problem when moving in the right direction, swimming against the tide it’s better to abide in God’s truth alone than stand with a crowd who will never know him, I have absolutely no desire to fit, refusing to let the world corrupt me, God didn’t make me different to be indifferent, he didn’t give me freedom so that I would join those beaten down by the need to conform, harmony with the enemy not part of my story, I will never influence the world by trying to be like it, never effect change if I remain silent, I won’t be compliant or anxious to match my opinions to earthly dominions, I am a Christian, proud of the Gospel, stand with me in truth for the fight is colossal.

Victory may be on its way but for today we are silent

A day of waiting, a day of rest, Saturday the Jewish Sabbath, the day that Jesus body lay at rest in the tomb, undisturbed and alone.  A day his disciples and followers would reflect on the events of Good Friday.  Did they weep and mourn, did sadness overwhelm them?  This was the day before their understanding would be complete. The day before their joy would overflow.  The day before the world changed forever, how did they feel? 

THE DAY BEFORE

The day before the sun rose again, the day after you hid your face, so much left to say, reflecting on the day we lost him, contemplating our loss, thinking of his body on the cross, sadness overwhelms, what do all the realms of glory have to say?  Victory may be on its way but for today we are silent, we sit in quiet reflection not knowing of the resurrection to come, the wondrous truth to come of an empty tomb, the news that the Lord himself has gone before us to conquer death and sin has not sunk in, we sit and wait, we sit and mourn, remembering his words but not comprehending, it is finished was his cry, not the ending but the beginning, we may be bereft and hurting but tomorrow hearts will be stirring as the wondrous truth sinks in that Jesus Christ is risen, death where is your sting?

Someone did what you asked them to do

When God endorses you and shows you through someone else that you are on the right track wow, now that is priceless.  This morning God used someone else to answer my questions to him and to build me up.  Funny, before that happened I was praying over the verse in 1 Thessalonians that encourages us to do just that:

1 Thessalonians 5:11 -Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

So don’t ever doubt God’s prompting, if he is telling you to encourage someone with a word, a verse or something else, do it, it’s great to give and great to receive.

And for those who know me via this Blog you won’t be surprised that this word was an encouragement to keep on speaking the truth about faith and sexuality, to keep fighting the enemy on this and to shine God’s light into every corner of every broken heart until the truth is seen, and let’s face it, the truth is all that can set us free.

ELEVATED

Elevated, lifted high because someone looked me in the eye and spoke for you, someone did what you asked them to do, it touched my heart, set me apart, rekindled my spark into a flame, life will never be the same, I sang and danced as the words exploded in my mind, God knows me, he’s heard my cry, all the time I was asking why, or how, or is this right, he heard me in the dark of the night he felt my fears, my concerns, the burning questions in my mind, he saw how I strived to find the answers and then in a blink of an eye he responded, priceless, an endorsement from God on high, a feeling of elation, a day of celebration, expectations heightened as God has lightened my load, showed me that yes it will still be hard but God gets that and will guard my heart, God knows yet wants me to go on, to speak of the love of his precious Son, to never give up pursuing the prodigals whose lives have been targeted by the devil himself, to speak of God’s immense love, to stand testimony to the difference God makes in our lives, to bring his word to life, to speak of all that he has done, to bring each and every prodigal home, where God’s rejoicing will know no bounds as each that was lost can declare, I am found.

Allowing Satan’s diseased thinking to shadow our thinking

I’ve been thinking about light and darkness today and how Christians are all little pinpricks of light on the earth, illuminating the area around us.  Some of casting a small light, others casting a vast light, all of us contributing in our way to lighting up the world.  I then got to thinking about Creation and how God created light and saw that it was good.  In the same way he sees our light and sees that it is good.

Before the fall of man, all was good, all was light and there was no evil.  It was through eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil that man came to a close acquaintance with the darkness.

That got me to thinking about our role as Christians to help keep the light shining into the darkness.  The example I want to use is based on my personal experience of being a Christian called out of a gay lifestyle.  Today a Facebook friend, a Christian, posted a picture of two men kissing with the comment “Love who you love! That’s what I’ll be telling my children”.  This was then agreed with by another couple of Christian friends.

My issue is that I believe every time a Christian promotes homosexuality, a tiny bit of their light goes out.  I’m not saying be homophobic or non-welcoming of homosexuals, that’s not what Jesus taught us, he taught us to love each other.  What I am saying is be clear on God’s teaching and let his light shine through us, do not let the darkness overcome, overshadow or taint God’s message of love and truth.

  • Genesis 1: 1-4 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
  • Genesis 3: 6-7 – When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

DARKNESS THEN LIGHT

There was darkness, then God created light, brightness illuminating every corner of the globe, strobes of light penetrating the shadows, the light turned on and the darkness fled, now we are the light of the world, anointed and called to speak of God’s redeeming grace, to light up space as beacons of hope, yet we walk a tightrope when we get lost in the darkness of our own making, faking it to fit in with secular beliefs, allowing Satan’s diseased thinking to shadow our thinking, the lights start blinking, not quite so bright now we’re masking the light, what’s right, what’s wrong, how long oh Lord how long before your people let this go, before they grow in maturity, before they gain clarity, your word unveiled, your word prevailing, no more bending Biblical teaching, no more watering down of their preaching, no longer desiring to placate the devil but ready to stand up against evil, there was darkness but you brought the light, Father God pour out your light on this nation, open their eyes remove the blinkers, may they be faithful witnesses, heavenly citizens ablaze with your Glory, their minds no longer bleary, standing up for the truth as faithful servants, Christian’s with a message, a belief and a purpose.

What will it take for you to hear me? 

A group of us were looking at Ephesians 1 last night and I still had it in my head about people hearing the gospel but not responding.  I think the truth of God’s word being veiled to some takes a long time to understand.  Reading about Moses and Pharaoh this morning it struck me even more how often people saw signs and wonders yet chose to ignore that this was from God. Even those who saw Jesus after he was raised from the dead didn’t all believe.

  • Ephesians 1:9 – he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ
  • Ephesians 1:13 – And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
  • Ephesians 1:17 – I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better

WHAT WILL IT TAKE?

What will it take for you to hear me?  What will it take for your eyes to see the beauty of the King?  What will it take for you to see that God is offering you freedom, he doesn’t force his opinions on you, free to choose, free to listen, free to hear, your fears and insecurities revealed when you appeal against the truth, when you deny the words that say he laid down his life for you, for that is love, real love that cannot be denied, Jesus laid down his life and even then the scoffers and mockers didn’t truly believe, asking to see his scars, to see his wounds, and even though the risen Saviour appeared in the room after his resurrection, many still chose to reject him, what will it take for you to elect him King of your heart, to elevate him, to set him apart, to worship the Lord who gives you his word, included in Christ as soon as you hear the message of truth and believe, you will receive salvation, marked with a seal, ransomed, healed and forgiven, risen again with Christ, living in the light, what will it take for you to hear him?  What will it take for you to receive him?

Hearts hardened, ears plugged, eyes shut

Before I spoke my testimony last night I was given a word by a friend who had been praying for me – it was really a picture that had come into his mind from Isaiah 6:6 of the burning coal being touched to the lips.  I felt anointed to speak for God after that and it was a great feeling.

After the testimony I was disappointed when one member of the congregation came to me and started talking about her gay friends who had faith.  She was telling me how it was good that God had told me this was his path for me but that God calls each of us differently, basically that they were happy to continue in their physical relationship as they felt this was God’s calling on them.

I was initially shocked, had she not heard what I was saying, after all sin is sin, it’s not like God picks and chooses who can carry out a sin and who can’t.

Today having read the whole of Isaiah 6 I see that God calls us to speak out, but it doesn’t necessarily mean people will listen to what we say.  But that is our calling and as soon as we say, here I am Lord, send me, then we are putting ourselves into God’s hands and are not to worry about the outcome, that is for God, we are simply his servants.

BURNING COALS

Burning coals, refiners fire, the touch of God which inspires us to share his word, to share our story, all aimed at bringing God the glory, my eyes unveiled to the truth, yet some listen carefully but don’t understand, some watch closely yet learn nothing, hearts hardened, ears plugged, eyes shut, how long oh Lord, how long before they see the way, how many days until they turn away from their sinful ways, how long before their ministry reflects your divinity, may your words work through me, may you set them free from the lies of the enemy, may they hear the truth and feel the love, may they know your perfect ways oh Lord, may they feed from your word, receive from the Spirit, may they receive your blessings as they work their way through it.